Easy Beef Stir Fry is the perfect Chinese-restaurant-inspired dish that you can make at home. To get delicious flavor use lots of been, your favorite vegetables, and of course a great sauce. 

Serve this beef stir fry with white rice, egg noodles, or next to fried rice!

Overhead shot of Beef Stir Fry in a white bowl

Beef for Stir Fry

So, what kind of beef is best for stir fry? I use either sirloin or flank steak in my beef stir fry recipe because it is tasty, affordable, and can be easily tenderized. You can use chuck steak as well. The secret to making the best beef stir fry using flank steak is all in how you slice the meat. Thin slices, across the grain is the key. Here’s how to do it:

  • Trim away any silver skin, or other tough connective tissue that often surrounds a cut of beef.
  • Look at the way the grains are running, you will see long lines of muscle.
  • You want to slice across the long lines (across the grain) for the most tender meat. I cut 1/4 inch thick.

Now you’re ready to marinate and/or tenderize.

Overhead shot of Easy Beef Stir Fry in a pan surrounded by ingredients

How to Make Beef Stir Fry

This dish requires a little more prep time than many recipes, but it’s so worth it! Prep your veggies ahead of time and place them in a container in the fridge.  To make things super easy, our grocery store sells stir fry veggies cut and prepped.

  1. Cook the beef in batches in an oiled pan or wok about 2-3 minutes and then remove and set aside (overcrowding the pan causes the beef to steam, not fry).
  2. Cook the vegetables in a hot oiled pan or wok 4-5 minutes. They should still be crunchy. Set aside.
  3. In the same pan, combine the sauce ingredients, bring to a simmer and thicken with cornstarch. Add the beef and veggies back to the pan and cook until heated through.

Overhead shot of beef stir fry ingredients

Making Beef Tender

You know how Chinese food always has the most tender pieces of beef and chicken? They use a technique called velveting which makes the meat so … velvety!! This involves tossing the beef (or chicken) with cornstarch and usually rice vinegar/soy sauce and egg white and let it marinate a while. It’s then usually cooked in either oil or water to complete the process and then it’s used in stir-fries.

I always toss my beef (or chicken for chicken stir fry) with cornstarch while I prepare the rest of the ingredients. While it’s not the exact same velveting technique as found in Chinese restaurants, it does change the texture of the meat and tenderize it. The little bit of cornstarch on the outside also gets a nice crust and helps thicken the sauce. Win-win-win!

Overhead shot of Beef Stir Fry in a black pan

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Beef Stir Fry in a white bowl
4.97 from 388 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Beef Stir Fry

Beef stir fry is the perfect stir fry recipe to make at home.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
  • 1 pound flank steak thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 cups mixed vegetables


  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • cup orange juice
  • cup water
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • Season steak with salt & pepper. Toss with cornstarch and set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
  • Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan or wok. Cook the beef in 2 small batches over medium high until browned, about 2-3 minutes (beef does not need to be cooked through). Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add vegetables to the pan and cook about until tender crisp, 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside with the beef.
  • Combine sauce ingredients except corn starch in a bowl and stir well.
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the sauce. Bring to a simmer. Combine cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water (or broth) and add it the sauce a little bit at a time while whisking to reach desired consistency. Let simmer 2 minutes. Add vegetables, beef (and any juices) to the pan and cook until heated through.
  • Serve with noodles or over rice.
4.97 from 388 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 423 | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 681mg | Potassium: 863mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 9285IU | Vitamin C: 29.9mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. The cornstarch on the meat prior is KEY. Smoking hot oil just caramelizes the meat–delicious. Great recipe thank you.

  2. This is my go to for stir fry now. The hint about velvet tenderizing with corn starch elevates this recipe to total yum!5 stars

  3. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! This was a hit with my family! I know that I can always count on recipes from Spend With Pennies!5 stars

  4. What kind of noodles should I use I would like to use the noodles in the picture presented What kind are they?

    1. The noodles in the picture are chow mein noodles purchased fresh at the grocery store. They’re often found in the produce area or near the tofu.

  5. Wow! I used a wok for the first time tonight. I picked a great recipe. My wife lived it too.

    Thanks5 stars

  6. Fantastic dinner. The sauce is superb. Thank you for a great new recipe that I will be adding to our family menu

  7. I made this stir fry and my husband loved it so much he has insisted that it go into our regular rotation of meals! Easy, quick, and delicious! We love to add a hint of sriracha for spice!5 stars

  8. Absolutely delicious This recipe will now be the one I use every time I make stir fry, SO good!!5 stars

    1. I did mince the ginger in a garlic press, added fresh basil to the sauce and marinated the meat in enough of the sauce to coat what was there while preping the veggies.

  9. I made this yesterday, and followed the marinade and steak recipe/process exactly. Only exception was I didn’t add the ginger because I was feeling too lazy to grate it. For my veggies, I added some Szechuan chiles, snow peas, sweet peppers, broccoli, and green onion. I made rice to go with it. Prep takes a little time, but it’s easy enough for anyone to do. It was by far the best I’ve ever made, and was restaurant quality. Thank you!5 stars

  10. Delicious! I made double the sauce and marinated the steak in half of that for a few hours. I didn’t coat the beef in cornstarch (I don’t think it needs it), and it was really yummy.5 stars

  11. Made for my family tonight. Made a double batch, and it was so good, many had seconds.

    I used asparagus, broccoli, red and yellow bell pepper strips, and I added two cans of sliced water chestnuts, which added a bit more crunch.

    Used sirloin beef tips, cut against the grain. I marinated the meat in three tablespoons of red wine balsamic vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of low sodium soy sauce. Meat was very flavorful, and very tender.

    After cooking all in batches, combined all in skillet and made sure to add a few tablespoons of sesame seed.

    Served over rice medley made of two pouches of uncle Ben’s wild rice/quinoa mixed with two pouches of uncle Ben’s white rice.

    The dish was super quick to make because I prepped veggies the night before and cheated with the instant microwave rice pouches.

    Wish I’d remembered to take pictures as it was so colorful and so delicious. Will definitely make again!!5 stars

  12. Omg it was yummy this was first time attempting to make stir fry and it was awesome I’m so lucky I came upon this recipe I’m going to add it to the dinner menu at least twice a month5 stars

  13. We made this recipe last night with everything except the sesame seed oil (i did not have any) and it was delicious. This will definitely be in our rotation. Super simple to make.5 stars